Where to take out a personal loan online
Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own.
Personal loans offer a quick and convenient way to borrow money. Many people obtain personal loans for consolidate high interest credit card debt or cover big expenses like home repairs, weddings, funerals, medical bills and vacations.
Online personal loans offer a completely digital process from application to approval. And you can usually receive your loan funds from an online lender faster than a personal loan from a physical financial institution.
Here’s where to get a personal loan online, how long it takes to receive your funds, and the qualifications you’ll typically need to meet.
Where to get a personal loan online
It is very common to apply for and get approved for a personal loan completely online. While some traditional banks and credit unions require applicants to apply for a loan in person, many online lenders streamline the application process for those who prefer to do business on their computer or mobile device.
You can get a personal loan online by filling out an application on the website of virtually any lender you are considering. Loan amounts can range from $1,000 to $100,000, with repayment terms between two and five years (or longer).
When you compare lenders to find the best personal loan for your purposes, consider loan amounts, interest rates and monthly payment amounts. Ideally, you will find the lowest rate personal loan that meets your financial needs with a monthly payment you can afford.
Credible, it’s easy to compare personal loan rates from various online lenders, all in one place.
Advantages of applying for a personal loan online
As with any financial decision, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of online personal loans. The benefits of online personal loans include:
- Prequalification — Online lenders generally offer you the possibility of prequalify for personal loans, which involves an indirect credit inquiry. This means you can compare loan offers without affecting your credit score.
- Convenience – Online lenders offer an application process that you can complete entirely online. In contrast, some banks and credit unions accept online applications, but many still require you to visit a branch to submit your loan application or sign your loan documents.
- Quick funding — Online lenders tend to have fast turnaround times for their personal loans. Many lenders can deposit the funds into your bank account on same day or within one business day after approval of your application.
Disadvantages of applying for a personal loan online
Digital-only lending also has drawbacks to consider:
- No in-person customer service — If you get a personal loan from an online lender, your customer support will usually be by phone, email, or chat. You will not be able to go to a physical office to resolve issues with your loan. If you choose an online lender, you should be comfortable doing business online and managing your loan with little personal interaction.
- Your bank may have a better offer — Online lenders often have the best deals on personal loans simply because they don’t have the high financial overhead of traditional banks that must operate their physical locations. However, a bank or box can give you a better deal, especially if you already have an established relationship. Again, it pays to get as many quotes as possible to find the best deal that meets your needs.
How long will it take to fund your personal loan online?
If you need immediate access to money, an online lender could be a viable option. You can usually complete the application process within minutes. And depending on the lender, you can receive a decision immediately and receive funds in your account within five business days.
Many online lenders offer even faster financing. For example, Prosper aims to fund your loan within one business day, while LightStream can distribute your funds the same business day. (Prosper and LightStream are credible partners.)
Make sure your application runs smoothly by having your supporting documents ready when you apply.
What do you need to qualify for an online personal loan?
Each lender is different when it comes to the information you will need to provide on your application. Generally, you will need to share some basic information such as your name, contact details and date of birth. You will likely need to provide the following additional documents to qualify for a personal loan:
- Identity proof – Be prepared to share your state-issued ID to prove that you are a U.S. citizen and are at least 18 years old. Acceptable identification usually includes a driver’s license, ID card, birth certificate, citizenship certificate, social security number, or military ID.
- Proof of address – Lenders often require proof of your address to help them assess the stability of your living situation. A utility bill, voter’s card, rental agreement or mortgage statement should suffice.
- Proof of income or employment — Lenders usually want to see proof of employment or income to make sure you can afford to repay your loan. You may need to submit verification in the form of your latest pay stubs, tax returns, W-2s, or bank statements. If you are self-employed, be prepared to share a current bank statement, 1099 forms, or tax returns.
If the lender accepts your request, take the time necessary to review the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, any fees and reimbursement period. It may be tempting to sign the loan agreement immediately to access the loan funds faster, but it is essential that you understand the terms and fees before signing on the dotted line.
If you’re ready to apply for a personal loan online, visit Credible for quick and easy compare personal loan rates to find the one that best suits your needs.